In 2003 I started research into establishing the first woodland cemetery in Durham City. Personally, I had a deep interest to support individuals going through the bereavement process. While at the same time I wanted to explore ways to reduce the spiralling cost of funerals. 

In 2012 after spending over £22000 of my own money I launched the Woodland Burial Trust. I was keen to ensure that myself and any other future Directors would not financially benefit from our work. So, I converted the company into a Community Interest Company (CIC) ensuring it was regulated by the government. Following this I further went on to convert the company into a ‘CIC Cooperative’ and handed over control of the company to its members. 

 

 

 

Sadly, after an impressive start trouble started to brew instigated by a small group of individuals. Complaints were made to the local authority, CIC Regulator, Police and Official Receiver. These malicious complaints were investigated and dismissed resulting in my decision to take early retirement and resulting in the demise of the project. 

 

I guess these individuals wanted to take control and run what was a successful project themselves. However, they only succeeded in creating stress and anxiety among a number of individuals, many who were elderly and vulnerable.

 

The full story is available at www.woodlandburialtrust.org.uk